I was just about to write about the First Annual Beer Festival held in the Castle district over four days, but our Internet went out for the last 36 hours. They totally discounted the festival in May as being the first, but whatever. I had attending this fest on my calendar as soon as the announcement came out in English. The wine fest can pass me by. I prefer beer. The problem was the weather.
While we were breaking all kinds of heat records, it was too damn hot to walk two blocks to the metro and then get onto a crowded bus to climb Castle Hill. I climbed up Castle Hill once. Definitely a once in my lifetime experience. Exercise is best left to the young and fit. But we finally dragged our butts out on Saturday evening. Low and behold, it was actually cool up there. If we had only known.
Just like the wine festival, they charge to get in. Unlike the wine festival it was 1,750 Huf per person just for starters. All we got for our money was a stupid paper wristband, in red. Red is not my color, but fortunately it is only paper, so it won’t last long. We also received a folded green paper. It was a secret. When you open it, it entitles you to one free beer at the designated booth. Just my luck, what do I get? Soproni, a typical Hungarian run of the mill beer. Wow, but wait! This is not your, average Soproni, is is their special edition. Well, then, how lucky am I? Ron’s was an edelweiss, which he was happy with, but then again that is Ron. He is easy to please.
Here was another catch. Before you could get your beer, you had to get a beer mug for 600 Huf, redeemable on exit if you saved your receipt. The money just kept on flowing. However with mugs in hand, we separated to get our respective “free” beers. For some reason there was a long line for the edelweiss, but for the Soproni, there was no one other than me. Given the choice of caramel or cherry, I chose caramel. The only thing that should have cherry flavor are cherries picked off of the tree. I cannot stand anything cherry flavored, but am also not keen on cherry pastries either.
Surprisingly, this festival covered a lot of the grounds behind the art museum.and into the courtyard where the Budapest Museum is located. Sadly though, most of the beer booths were run of the mill and not the microbreweries we expected. I mean, come on, did I pay 1,750 for Soproni and Heineken? Yes, they were there too. I would say that food booths outnumbered the beer and not having had dinner, we indulged. Indulging is the right word too. For what we paid for piece of ham, a sausage, and two orders of French Fries, we could have had a sit down dinner in a nice restaurant.
We did get to speak to a nice couple from Munich, he was German and his wife was American. Highlighting the night for me was the view. I can never get enough of the view from the castle area or Fisherman’s Bastion during the day, but at night it is all magical. And the clear cool evening just added to the pleasure.
So for my second and final act, I had a pumpkin beer. Yes, pumpkin. I won’t eat cherry things, but I will eat just about anything with pumpkin. Though it only had a slight pumpkin taste, it was enjoyable nevertheless. This was only a two beer night because I am a lightweight drinker first of all, but secondly, each one was an additional 400 to 800 a mug.